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Hi Infatuation reader. With restaurants around the country reopening, we understand that socializing in any form might still feel strange, and poses risks too. Should you go out to eat? That’s up to you. But we’ll continue to keep you informed as best we can. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to email us at community@theinfatuation.com.

NYC

Guide

The Best Things We Ate This Week

A running list of the best dishes we’ve had recently.

32 Spots
Launch Map
32 Spots
Launch Map
Updated September 18th, 2020

New York City is open for outdoor dining, which means there are hundreds of restaurants where you can eat outside today. But if you can’t decide where to start, or you’d rather order something great for takeout, we totally understand. That’s why we’re highlighting the best dishes we’ve had recently, all of which are available for takeout, delivery, and outdoor dining right now. From a can of giant beans soaked in tomato sauce to one of the best burgers in NYC, here’s a look into our personal food journals.

If you’ve had a great dish that you want to share with our team, send us an email at nyc@theinfatuation.com. Now, on to the dishes.


THE DISHES

Arden Shore

For All Things Good

$$$$ 343 Franklin Ave

Mushroom Mezcal Tlayudita

“I hate to break it to you, but Mexico’s native corn varieties are going extinct in the face of genetically modified yellow sweet corn (which I absolutely bought from Foodtown this summer). For All Things Good, a very lovable new Mexican cafe on a corner in Bed-Stuy, uses only heirloom corn that they nixtamalize themselves to make masa. The result is the best tortillas I’ve had in NYC. I tried the colorful tetela trio and the squash blossom quesadilla, but the absolute standout was the mezcal mushroom tlayudita. I hope to start another day soon with the very same crispy tortilla layered with beans, cheese, and a pleasantly chaotic fistful of hen of the woods mushrooms.”

-Arden Shore, Senior Editor

Nikko Duren

Blue Hill at Stone Barns

$$$$
$$$$ 630 Bedford Rd.

Heirloom Tomato

“Before 2:34pm on September 5th, I considered a tomato a tomato. But at this pivotal moment in my career as a produce consumer, my “third eye” was opened and I could taste the multi-hyphenate nature of a really good tomato. The heirloom tomato slice in question from Blue Hill at Stone Barns was about the size of two fists, and it came topped with chopped onions, pepper, and a little bit of salt. Its sweeter notes reminded me of my favorite childhood boardgame, Candyland, and its subtle sourness made me question whether this was even a fruit at all.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Hannah Albertine

Hwa Yuan

$$$$
$$$$ 42 E Broadway

Mapo Tofu

“Hwa Yuan’s mapo tofu is one of my favorite versions I’ve had in NYC. They use enough ground pork so that every bite of soft tofu is accompanied by its own personal piggy chauffeur, and I would happily drizzle the thin, bright red Szechuan peppercorn oil on any other food. The next day, I stood in the glow of my fridge eating cold mapo tofu leftovers, realizing we need to create a guide to the best mapo tofu in the city. If you feel as strongly about this dish as I do, please send me your recommendations.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Insa

$$$$
KoreanBBQ  in  Gowanus
$$$$ 328 Douglass St

Fried Chicken

“Korean fried chicken is my favorite fried chicken, and I finally got around to trying Insa’s in Gowanus. As is typical, Insa uses a double-frying method, which keeps both the boneless and bone-in pieces astonishingly juicy. The crunchy exterior holds up against the sweet-spicy gochujang glaze, and I’ll just say that my dining partner and I wished we had opted for the whole bird rather than the half. If only two-step skincare routines had such effective results as the double-fry.”

-Arden Shore, Senior Editor

Farra

$$$$
Wine Bar  in  Tribeca
$$$$ 71 Worth St

Scallop Fried Rice

“Literally days before quarantine hit New York City, the Tribeca tasting menu Atera restaurant opened a wine bar next door, serving small plates. They’ve stuck it out through the pandemic (while Atera is closed), and have a great outdoor dining situation with tables scattered down Worth Street. The small plates are all pretty excellent, but the scallop rice with egg yolk and trout roe stood out as a highlight. From a service perspective, it’s not surprising that this place is connected to a fine dining establishment, so we’d recommend checking it out for a special night out, outdoors.”

-Hillary Reinsberg, Editor In Chief

Matt Tervooren

Cafe Rue Dix

$$$$ 1451 Bedford Ave

Gambas a la Plancha

“The grilled tiger shrimp at this French-Senegalese spot in Crown Heights look like delicious, albeit normal-sized shrimp, but each one makes you feel like you’re at the tail-end of a peel n’ eat free-for-all. They’re dense and tender, lightly charred and buttery, and somehow, they may not even be the most memorable part of the dish. Underneath them lies a soft pita that you only really notice after finishing half of the shrimp, by which time it’s sopping with lemon juice, spices, and a whole lot of butter sauce.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

Casa Enrique

$$$$
$$$$ 5-48 49th Ave.

Chile en Nogada

“Casa Enrique’s chile en nogada is as delicious as it is stunning. Their version is fruit heavy, and filled with enough pears, apples, peaches, apricots, and raisins to convince your stomach you drank a smoothie, and the handful of salty ground pork inside the poblano helps to subdue the overall sweetness. While this is technically a special, you’ll often see it on the menu. Keep an eye out for this pomegranate-studded, cream-covered pepper like you’re scanning a park for an isolated bench.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

Brooklyn Noosh

$$$$ 988 Atlantic Ave

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Wings

“I ate these wings sitting next to a raging fire pit in the alley behind this new Bed-Stuy spot. Between the smoky campfire smell, the slow-burn heat of the wings, and the fact that my friend cried out after hot cheeto dust got in his eye, I briefly forgot I was still in 2020. What I’m saying is, these fried, cayenne-forward wings are a little bit ridiculous and a little bit painful, and they might be exactly what you need to feel better tonight.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Rahi

$$$$
$$$$ 60 Greenwich Ave

Methi Gosht

“I went to this West Village Indian spot while researching The Best Fried Chicken Sandwiches In NYC, and their garam masala-coated version certainly didn’t disappoint. But for how much I still think about that sandwich, I spend just as much time reminiscing about the bone-in goat curry. Cutting a hole in the puffed naan shell releases steam that makes it seem like the kitchen’s entire spice rack is being run through a still. The basmati rice acts like a sponge soaking up all of the flavor from the juices and minced goat, and yet the best bites are the pieces of gamey meat attached to the bones at the bottom of the pot.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Jalsa - Grill And Gravy

$$$$ 964 Coney Island Ave

Chicken Dum Biryani

“Biryani is my weighted blanket, my 15-minute yoga flow, and my chill music mix all in one. So when I got a craving for it last weekend, I figured I’d go out of my way to find the best biryani on the planet (read: within my delivery radius). Thankfully, the chicken dum biryani I ordered from Jalsa in Ditmas Park had exactly the kind of balanced-but-bold flavor I needed. It’s a big portion with a few whole chicken legs inside, and all of the meat falls right off the bone. The rice tasted like saffron which was extremely satisfying and also reminded me of an old roommate whose IG handle was ‘saffrongirl69.’ I hope she’s gotten better about doing the dishes.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Matt Tervooren

Diner

$$$$
$$$$ 85 Broadway

Fried Chicken Sandwich

“I’m working on a guide to the best fried chicken sandwiches in NYC, and without giving too much away, I can share three takeaways from my research thus far. First, I’m currently more chicken than Foghorn Leghorn. Second, white meat - why? And third, Diner will make the guide. What separates the version at this Williamsburg American spot from most of the others I’ve tried recently is the meat itself. It’s so tender that if it weren’t for the thin layer of crispy skin, it’d be nearly impossible to tell where the juicy, buttery meat ends, and the soft, buttery potato bun begins. Just know that it’s only offered at lunch Friday through Sunday.”

-Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

Joe & Pat's

$$$$ 168 1st Ave

Clam Pizza

“My mother always taught me to think that molluscs and cheese don’t belong together. But the cracker-thin clam pie from Joe & Pat’s is proof that food rules are mostly stupid, because the cheese, garlic, parsley, and briny clams on this pizza should start an LLC together. Make this your next Friday night takeout so you can weigh in on my mom’s abrasive seafood-dairy policies.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

KM1

$$$$
$$$$ 58 E 1st St

Mofongo de Churrasco

“KM1 is a new Caribbean restaurant right across from those handball courts on Houston Street in the East Village. The menu has a bunch of Dominican dishes, including a plate of perfectly-seasoned strip steak with a crispy pile of plantains and a light tomato sauce. Between the tomato broth bath and the alternating bites of chewy steak and crunchy fried plantains, this mofongo was the highlight of my eating week.”

-Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Winner

Winner

$$$$
$$$$ 367 7th Ave

Rosemary and Grape Focaccia

“If your neighborhood bakery doesn’t serve grape and rosemary focaccia, that’s okay - mine doesn’t either. But recently I was biking around Park Slope, and decided to try a neighborhood bakery that does. At Winner, the aforementioned focaccia loaf was sweet, salty, crispy, and fluffy all at once. I’ll be pretending this spot is my neighborhood bakery from now on.”

-Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Hannah Albertine

Lhasa Tibetan Restaurant

$$$$
$$$$ 177 1st Ave

Non-Veg Momo Combo

“One of Lhasa’s momos may have exploded beef juice all over my laptop, and that’s OK. It’s a good thing that they’re stuffed to the brim with meat, onions, ginger, and chives. This Jackson Heights Tibetan restaurant just opened a new location on 11th and 1st Avenue, and I plan on slowly but surely breaking the keyboard of my computer with their momo broth.”

- Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Black Crescent

$$$$ 76 Clinton St

Oysters

“Admittedly, oysters don’t have to try very hard to make me happy. But there was something special about these particular East Coast oysters from the recently-reopened Black Crescent. Maybe it was the fact that they were briny-tasting and smooth, or that they were the first oysters I’ve had all summer, or that I had already consumed a margarita in a plastic cup. Whatever it was, I was overjoyed.”

- Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

La Isla Cuchifritos

$$$$
Latin  in  BrooklynBushwick
$$$$ 1439 Myrtle Ave.

Alcapurria

“If I could have any superpower, my ninth or tenth pick would be to have an unlimited number of the dense, crispy alcapurrias from La Isla Cuchifritos in Bushwick. People would say things like, ‘That seems like a waste of a superpower,’ and I’d just be like, ‘Do want an alcapurria or not?’ And they’d probably say yes. I know this because I ate a few recently, and this is how any reasonable person should respond.”

- Bryan Kim, Senior Staff Writer

Matt Tervooren

Viking Fresh Off The Hook

$$$$ 1905 Bayview Ave

Fried Oysters & Raw Tuna

“I’d enjoy fried oysters anywhere. Most recently, I had a bucket of them next to the dock on Long Beach Island. Like lots of spots on LBI, Viking Fresh Off The Hook serves fantastic seafood, both fried and raw - like locally caught tuna, which I had in a poke bowl alongside the oysters.”

- Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

Satsuma Plums

“I was in the Catskills recently and stopped at a farm stand on Route 28 near Arkville to buy a box of satsuma plums. They’re so juicy that biting into one tends to cause a stone fruit Sweeney Todd situation. I had to eat them over a sink. Now I will live my life knowing plums can be categorized in one of two ways: over-the-sink fruit or non-over-the-sink fruit.”

- Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Nikko Duren

Telly's Taverna

$$$$
Greek  in  AstoriaQueens
$$$$ 2813 23rd Ave

Spanakopita

“Rediscovering the NYC ferry has given my bike a chance to relax at home, while I visit parts of the city I haven’t seen in months. Most recently, the ferry brought me and this incredible spanakopita from Telly’s Taverna together, thus solving my commitment issues and inspiring me to go caroling four months early. It’s flakier than your favorite croissant and when you cut into it, you get that beautiful cracking sound that lets you know it just came out of the oven. This spanakopita should be on your NYC meals bucket list.”

- Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Hannah Albertine

Ray's Candy Store

$$$$ 113 Avenue A

Swirl Soft Serve With Rainbow Sprinkles

“One of the only, true constants of my summer has been the vanilla-chocolate swirl soft serve from Ray’s Candy Store. I appreciate that it has pastel rainbow sprinkles and that unmistakable dairy flavor that leaves you as thirsty as a camel. Bring a bottle of water and a five-dollar bill, and order one for yourself.”

- Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Nikko Duren

A&A Bake and Doubles

$$$$ 481 Nostrand Ave

Doubles

“If you know me, you know that hyperbole isn’t really my thing. So when I say that I think about the doubles from A&A at least once a week, you should take me at my word. I finally made it back the other day (due to the fact that I fixed my bike), and the impeccably-spiced doubles were delicious as always. I also tried their dense, crispy saheena for the first time, although I let my coworker have most of it, as I’m an incredibly giving person.”

- Bryan Kim, Senior Staff Writer

Matt Tervooren

Miss Ada

$$$$ 184 Dekalb Ave

Chicken Shawarma With Hummus

“If I had to describe my brunch at Miss Ada with two words, I’d go with “disorienting” and “fantastic.” It was disorienting because it didn’t feel like brunch. The whipped ricotta was sweet enough to be served in a dessert shop, the hummus with shawarma had as many bright colors as the food scene in Hook, and the malawach was like a pancake that decided it was born to be more than just a pancake. As for the second descriptor, it all tasted fantastic.”

- Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

Titan Foods Inc.

$$$$
Greek  in  Astoria
$$$$ 25-56 31st St

Giant Beans In Tomato Sauce & Egg-Lemon Soup

“I went to this Greek grocery store in Astoria partly because my friend told me Danny Devito likes to shop there, and partly because I have a special place in my heart for imported canned goods. I left with incredible future lunch plans (a perfectly tart egg lemon soup, and a can of giant beans soaked in tomato sauce that didn’t require any additional seasoning) but, unfortunately, no Danny Devito sighting.”

- Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Nikko Duren

Krupa Grocery

$$$$ 231 Prospect Park West

Nashville Hot Shrimp Burger

“Last weekend, I picked up a Prospect Park Picnic Box from Krupa Grocery and ate it, well, in the park. Admittedly, I was skeptical of the Nashville Hot Shrimp Burger, but the patty was nice and juicy, with satisfying crisp edges. Together with a spattering of creamy chive aioli and heaven-sent pickles, this thing was good enough to make me question whether a “seafood burger” deserves a spot on our Best Burger list next year.”

- Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Hannah Albertine

Soothr

$$$$
$$$$ 204 E 13th St

Koong Karee

“This new Thai spot’s shrimp and egg dish is genuinely one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten out of a plastic container. Its gooey consistency keeps the tail-on shrimp tender and every bite tastes like shrimp paste just called curry powder to say ‘I love you.’ I don’t care where you live, you need to try it.”

- Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Hills Kitchen

$$$$
$$$$ 252 Knickerbocker Ave

Efo Soup

“I’ve been ordering a lot from Hills Kitchen, a West African restaurant in Bushwick, and it’s always hard for me to try something new there. You see, I really like their efo soup, which is incredibly rich and packed with more spinach than I typically consume in a month. Order it, get a sticky ball of eba on the side, and consume these things in unison.”

- Bryan Kim, Senior Staff Writer

Nikko Duren

Ricas Pupusas & Mas

$$$$
$$$$ 47-55 47th St

Pupusas

“I don’t eat enough pupusas. And since that’s one void in my life I can actively fill, I ordered two from Ricas Pupusas Y Mas. The masa is thick and sweet, yet humble enough to let the cheesy, meaty insides have some time in the spotlight. Based on this excellent meal (and humility lesson), I’ll be consuming more of these pupusas in the coming weeks.”

- Nikko Duren, Editorial Assistant

Hannah Albertine

Cervo's

$$$$
$$$$ 43 Canal St

Fried Corn

“It’s summertime and I can’t stop saying the word “corn” in an Irish accent - like how I’d imagine Saorsie Ronan would pronounce it. So, I of course jumped at the opportunity to eat the new fried corn dish from Cervo’s. It’s served in a takeout bowl bathtub of bottarga and tomato aioli. You’ll want to dip your corn so that every kernel is drenched in what is essentially salty fish mayo.”

- Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Matt Tervooren

BK Jani

$$$$ 679 Grand St

Jani Burger and Seekh Kebab Roll

“I ordered the burger and seekh kebab roll at BK Jani thinking that I’d bring about half of each home as leftovers. Then one thing led to another, and I was sitting in their lovely backyard with nothing but a bit of mint chutney and a vague sense of accomplishment.”

- Matt Tervooren, Staff Writer

Hannah Albertine

The Bun Hut

$$$$ 178 Stanton St

Coconut Curry Chicken Roti

“The roti I tried from this recently-opened Caribbean spot comes with creamy curry, mango salsa, and a few sweet fried plantains - all wrapped up in a thin dhal puri. It was juicy and thick, unlike 90% of my recent carrot-hummus-iced-coffee lunches.”

- Hannah Albertine, Staff Writer

Noah Devereaux

Federoff’s

$$$$
$$$$ 178 N 10th St

Cheesesteak Sandwich

“A few days ago, I messaged some coworkers and told them that I was going to order a cheesesteak. They hadn’t asked about my dinner plans, but sometimes I like to be my own hype man. The cheesesteak was from Federoff’s in Williamsburg, it was an intensely salty mess of beef, cheese, and cheese-soaked bread, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

- Bryan Kim, Senior Staff Writer

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